Impartiality and the BBC

Impartiality, like the virtues of honesty, truthfulness and integrity with which it can be associated, is a worthy aim for a journalist. However, given the imperfectability of fallen man, perhaps it is unwise to vest a single journalistic entity with enormous privilege on the simple trust that it will report the news with impartiality. And yet this is precisely the arrangement we face with the BBC. A poll tax is levied on viewers to guarantee the Corporation an income which it doesn’t have to earn by competing in the marketplace. All such publicly funded entities have their own inherent failings, but one trusted to shape our understanding of current events and culture is uniquely hazardous. The institutional bias located within the BBC is, to be frank, glaring and I find it hard to see how anyone but wishful thinkers can see otherwise. There is and has been a rotating door between the Corporation and such news organs as the Guardian and Independent whose partiality cannot be denied. Whilst we must insist on integrity and truthfulness, it is on balance wiser to admit our individual weltanschauungen, rather than reward unrealistic assurances with unprecedented privilege.

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